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Department of Justice holds community meeting over investigation into Phoenix police

DOJ investigation
Posted at 2:56 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 23:04:24-04

PHOENIX — The Justice Department held it's first community meeting Monday night after launching a widespread probe into the Phoenix Police Department to examine whether officers have been using excessive force and abusing people experiencing homelessness.

The virtual gathering informed local residents about the "pattern or practice" investigation, which examines whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing — and is generally a sweeping review of the entire police department.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the investigation Thursday into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department.

The probe will also examine whether police have engaged in discriminatory policing practices and will work to determine if officers have retaliated against people engaged in protected First Amendment activity, he said.

Chief Jeri Williams said last week that she welcomes the opportunity to improve her department.